UPDATED: Judge made order over phone, leading to 'inadvertent' granting of stay, now revoked

Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 10:49 AM AKST
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An Anchorage Superior Court judge has reversed his decision to temporarily halt the Recall Dunleavy effort moving forward, writing that he “inadvertently" issued an order granting the stay.

Judge Eric Aarseth’s Monday decision to grant the stay caught many by surprise as he had signaled strongly that he would not make that decision.

The mistake may have occurred as Stand Tall with Mike, a group formed to defend the governor from a recall effort, had filed a motion for expedited consideration alongside the motion for a stay.

The Alaska Court System Wednesday evening gave an update on the circumstances of the mistake.

"On January 21, Judge Aarseth reviewed the Unopposed Motion for Expedited Consideration of Motion for Stay Pending Appeal and the Motion for Stay Pending Expedited Appeal filed by STWM while out of town on a urgent family issue," the court system wrote on Twitter.

"He telephonically authorized granting the Motion for Expedited Consideration only. The Motion for Stay Pending Expedited Appeal was inadvertently granted as well."

The Department of Law wrote in a statement that Aarseth "has not ruled on the pending motion for a stay."

According to the department, Aarseth "has simply backed up slightly in order to get the process correct," a process that involves hearing Recall Dunleavy's opposition to the motion to grant a stay.

Scott Kendall, an attorney representing Recall Dunleavy, said that Aarseth had shown himself to be a "careful jurist" and that both parties were now "back to the status quo."

On Jan. 10, Aarseth reversed the director of the Division of Elections who had denied Recall Dunleavy's petition. He ordered for petition booklets to be printed by Feb. 10.

The Department of Law states that if a stay isn't granted by Aarseth that it will have booklets ready for that date.

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